Notes to editor
Hot spots – and not so hot – of a smoke-free Europe
The legislative framework for modern tobacco control was set out in 2003 when the WHO ratified its first public health treaty, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, whose Article 8 has so far been adopted by more than 160 countries worldwide, including all EU member states (except Czech Republic).
Ireland became the first country in the world to be 100% smoke free in March 2004. Smoking is banned in enclosed or more than 50% enclosed public places and workplaces (including all bars, cafés and restaurants). Designated smoking rooms are not allowed.
England became smoke free in July 2007. The entire UK is now smoke free, making it the world’s most populated smoke-free jurisdiction. Smoking is prohibited in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces. In March 2006, Scotland became the first region in the UK to introduce 100% smoke-free legislation.
Smoke-free legislation came into effect in France in February 2007 to include all public places and workplaces; bars and restaurants were exempted until 1 January 2008.
Smoke-free legislation came into effect in Spain in January 2006, with smoking banned in enclosed public places and workplaces; however, exemptions were allowed for restaurants and bars of less than 100 m2; smoking rooms were allowed otherwise.
At the national level smoking was banned in government buildings and on public transport (and stations) in September 2007. Smoke-free laws exist in all states, but none are total. There is still legal debate as to whether a total ban is constitutional.
All public places and workplaces in Sweden, including restaurants and bars, became smoke free on 1 June 2005.
Smoking is banned in schools and public transport but not in all workplaces or bars and restaurants. The law is poorly enforced but new legislation requires the latter to provide non-smoking rooms.
As of January 2006 smoking is forbidden in most public places, and restaurants must provide smoking areas. In June this year Czech MPs backed a proposal allowing bars and restaurants owners to decide whether their establishments are smoke free or not.
Italian law introduced in January 2005 banned smoking in all indoor public places. Smoking areas must be enclosed and ventilated.
Fragile non-smoking laws are largely ignored, but a new law based on a model like Spain’s will require bars and restaurants to provide sealed smoking areas. According to research carried out for the EuroHeart project, Greece is one of only two countries to have no national policy relating specifically to CHD – and where there seems a clear association between disease incidence and government policy.
Only limited legislation in place, but measures now before Parliament (proposed by the Health Committee) to introduce a comprehensive ban in all public places.
Legislation of 2004 made smoking illegal in workplaces – but with exceptions, which included bars and restaurants. These were included in 2008 legislation, but there have been legal challenges (particularly by small cafés) in some cities.